Roberto has been a Research Scholar in Department I since 2013; he also works with the Research Program on the History of the Max Planck Society (GMPG). After having received his MSc in Physics (2007), Roberto Lalli earned a PhD in International History at the University of Milan (2011) with a dissertation on the controversial reception of relativity theories in France and the USA. He is a historian of modern physical sciences whose work focuses on the interconnections between social and epistemic factors in the production and circulation of novel products in theoretical physics and in the international standardization of scientific practices during the twentieth century.
From 2011 to 2013, Roberto was a Postdoctoral Fellow on the STS Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), under the supervision of David Kaiser. He has published extensively on the history of relativity theories, on the international and inter-institutional transfer of quantum theory, and on the evolution of editorial practices in physics. He is currently elaborating new methodologies based on the concepts and tools of the network theory in order to jointly analyze the evolution of scientific knowledge in physics, the creation of transnational scientific communities, and the developments of scientific institutions.
Lalli, R. (2016). ‘Dirty work’, but someone has to do it: Howard P. Robertson and the refereeing practices of Physical Review in the 1930s. Notes and Records, 70(2), 151-174. doi:10.1098/rsnr.2015.0022.Read more
Blum, A. S., Lalli, R., & Renn, J. (2015). The reinvention of general relativity: a historiographical framework for assessing one hundred years of curved space-time. Isis, 106(3), 598-620. doi:10.1086/683425.Read more
Lalli, R. (2015). 'The Renaissance of physics’: Karl K. Darrow (1891-1982) and the dissemination of quantum theory at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. In R. Pisano (
Lalli, R. (2013). Anti-relativity in action: the scientific activity of Herbert E. Ives between 1937 and 1953. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 43(1), 41-104.Read more
Lalli, R. (2012). The Reception of Miller’s Ether-Drift Experiments in the USA: The History of a Controversy in Relativity Revolution. Annals of Science, 69(2), 153-214.Read more
Lalli, R. (2011). Effetto Sagnac (1913): Storia di un mancato dibattito nella Francia degli anni '20. Quaderni di Storia della Fisica, 17(1), 47-81.Read more
Lalli, R. (2014). A new scientific journal takes the scene: the birth of reviews of modern physics. Annalen der Physik, 526(9/10), A83-A87. doi:10.1002/andp.201400810.Read more
Renn, J., Wintergrün, D., Lalli, R., Laubichler, M., & Valleriani, M. (2016). Netzwerke als Wissensspeicher. In J. Mittelstraß, & U. Rüdiger (
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science